A Diamond In The Mutual Fund Rough

The credit crisis and ensuing collapse in equity markets hasn't been especially good for the mutual fund industry (especially of the equity type). Over the weekend, I ran a search on Morningstar's Fund Quickrank using "U.S. Stocks Funds" as a category and "Total return %: 1 Year" as a ranking field. The top-five ranked funds (as at March 20, 2009) and their performances are outlined in the table below, excluding fees. The group average, containing 9,978 funds, is -40.43%.   Fund Name Ticker 1-Yr Total Return (%) Gabelli ABC GABCX -1.52 ...

An Actively Managed Green ETF: HECO

Tom Konrad CFA Deepwater Horizon Oil slick, as seen by NASA satellite, May 24, 2010 For a growing number of people, ecological responsibility means more than just recycling and changing our light bulbs.  Many have started to ask, “How much good does saving a few hundred gallons of gas with a hybrid car do, when the mutual funds in your 401k own companies that are allowing 6.6 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, or fund misinformation about climate change?” For most, the answer...

Renewable Energy and Cleantech Mutual Funds and ETFs: Does Tax Efficiency Matter?

Alternative Energy and Climate Change Mutual Funds, Part VI Tom Konrad CFA My recent article, In Clean Energy, Active Management Pays, started a bit of a controversy.  Rafael Coven, the Index Manager for The Cleantech Index (^CTIUS), which is the index behind the Powershares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD), left a comment on Barrons and sent me an email saying, "Your comparison of funds and ETFs ignores the tax efficiency differences which are very significant." Rafael is right that it's important for many investors to consider taxes before making an investment decision, and that ETFs are often more...

Vacation, Updated Graphs, and 2 Conferences

Vacation and Meet Me at the Colorado Renewable Energy Conference or the International Peak Oil Conference. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA I'm on vacation this week, so I'm going to leave you with a preview from a presentation I will be giving at the Colorado Renewable Energy Conference on Aug 29 in Golden Colorado. I'm updating my Investing in Renewable Energy presentations, and I've been able to incorporate a lot of the work Charles and I did on clean energy mutual funds and ETFs since January this year. ETF Holdings Revealed Charles did some in-depth work...

The Holdings of the Powershares Global Progressive Transport Portfolio ETF (PTRP)

Tom Konrad, CFA I included the Powershares Global Progressive Transport Portfolio (PTRP) as an investment option instead of three stocks in my Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2010, as part of a simplified portfolio for small investors wanting to minimize costs by making fewer trades.  The other Exchange Traded Fund I used in this way was the First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Smart Grid Infrastructure Index Fund (GRID).  I took a look at the holdings of the Smart Grid ETF here, and they are not exactly what you would expect from the name.  Since it makes sense to know...

Shares in Active Power Purchased

I currently don't have time to do a complete writeup on this stock, but wanted to let everyone know that I purchased shares in Active Power Inc (ACPW) this afternoon for both my personal portfolio and the mutual fund. The average price was at $3.77. I will updated this post later this afternoon with more details. Updated at 10:00 PM As I mentioned above I purchased shares in Active Power Inc (ACPW) this afternoon for both the mutual fund and my personal portfolio. Active Power designs and sells battery-free uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems....

Shares in Capstone Purchased

This morning I purchased shares of Capstone Turbine Corp (CPTC) in both my personal portfolio and the mutual fund. I have been waiting for the stock to show some strength after its recent declines. The stock appears to have some nice support at the $2.25 level as a bottom. They will be announcing quarterly earnings on November 10th. Capstone Turbine developments and manufactures microturbine generators. The company’s microturbines can also be used as generators for hybrid electric vehicle applications. It also offers Model C60 integrated combined heat and power systems (CHP). A one third stake have been purchased...

Alternative Energy Outperforms All Other Sectors in September

By Harris Roen Alternative energy MFs racked up extremely robust gains in the past year. Returns range from a low of 16%, to a high of 64% for a mutual fund that is heavy into solar investments. ETFs also did well, but returns are much more variable. They range from a loss of 34% for a carbon ETF, to more than doubling of a solar ETF. Mutual Funds Returns remain excellent for alternative energy MFs overall, with average mutual fund up 32.3% for the year. Not a single fund posted a loss in...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Outpace ETFs

By Harris Roen Investors love Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). They trade like stocks, and are an easy way to diversify within a certain sector. Over the past year, though, alternative energy investors would have been much better off putting their money in regular mutual funds. The results are detailed in the April edition of the Alternative Energy Mutual Funds & Exchange Traded Fund report. Performance for alternative energy mutual funds were very good for the past 12 months, averaging 11.7% for the eleven funds covered by the Roen Financial Report. In fact, eight...

Shares of Capstone Rising

Shares of Capstone Turbine Corp (CPTC) are rising sharply this morning with high volume and gapped up with a gain of over 35% this morning. There is currently no news to cause this increase today and I will be digging deeper to find out what is going on. This is good news for the stock and also the portfolio. My holdings are now up over 50% in about 10 days. If you were thinking of buying the stock now, you should wait till some news confirms this move. Update at 12:15 EST: The only news I can...

Options on Clean Energy ETFs

In my recent article about Green Energy Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I said that there were two main criteria investors should consider when choosing one (the fund's expense ratio, and its investment universe.)  This is true for investors who are looking for a single investment in alternative energy, but if you are a more sophisticated investor or speculator, there's another important criterion: Is there a market for exchange traded options on the ETF? I personally love selling (a.k.a. "writing") options.  If the stock market is a casino, option sellers are the house.  Longtime readers will recall my article last...

As Goes January? What the Pullback in Green Mutual Funds Means

By Harris Roen Alternative energy mutual funds and ETFs have pulled back from some of the fantastic gains seen in 2013. There is a saying in the investment world that “as goes January, so goes the year.” Is it time to bail on this sector, or on stocks in general? Perhaps, but wise long-term alternative energy investors should avoid rash steps at this juncture. Alternative Energy Fund Returns Mutual Funds are down about 4% on average year-to-date, and are basically flat for the past three months. Despite this, alternative energy mutual funds are up 22.7%...

Top Performing Clean Energy Funds in 2010

Tom Konrad CFA When Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their clean energy league tables for 2010, the top of the list was my favorite exchange traded fund (ETF), the Powershares Cleantech Portfolio ETF (AMEX: PZD), with an annual return of 7.6%. Second place was the Winslow Green Growth (WGGFX) mutual fund (7.4% return), which is one of what I consider to be the three best clean energy mutual funds. But the one I consider to be the best, the Gabelli SRI Green Fund (SRIGX) was nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that it returned 12.1% in...

Alternative Energy Funds Deliver Stunning Quarterly Returns, But Beware the Risks

By Harris Roen The Roen Financial Report closely covers the universe of almost 30 alternative energy Mutual Funds (MFs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). We use a proprietary ranking method to pick the best funds, looking at measures that include fees, risk, tax liability, and the financial health of individual holdings within each fund. Subscribers can see the complete list of funds, including rankings and technical breakdowns, in both Excel and PDF format by clicking here . Mutual Funds Alternative energy MFs showed improving ranks for this February update. In all, three funds were bumped up to...

Virtual Mutual Fund at Marketocracy.com

I finally got around to setting up a virtual mutual fund at Marketocracy.com. This virtual fund gives me 1 million in play money to prove my worth. If they like what they see, they will set up a real fund. Just like every real mutual fund you need to setup an investment charter and style. They will report on performance once you have maintained the mutual fund compliance rules. In a nutshell they are as follows: No position can exceed 25% of your total portfolio value.Half your portfolio must be comprised of positions under 10% each.Your cash...

Clean Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs: Does Active Management Pay?

UPDATE 2/23/09: Here are in depth looks at available Clean Energy ETFs and Clean Energy Mutual Funds. In my articles about Clean Energy Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I usually say: Given the complex nature of the technologies, and the sparse coverage of many of the companies by industry analysts, there is still considerable room for active management in .  Many investors buy Renewable Energy stocks for emotional reasons, so an understanding of practical behavioral finance may lead to excellent buying opportunities in quality companies. My recent update on the not-so-bad-as-might-have-been-expected performance of my...